Sunday, October 17, 2010

"A tremendous machine!"

It's the midpoint of the semester, and for a couple of days I'll be alternating between recovering from that and getting two new classes up and running for the second half of the semester. New stuff coming next weekend, I hope.

In the meantime, Sports Illustrated's website has a terrific piece up by Joe Posnanski called "Thirty-two Great Calls," a collection of audio and video clips of, not necessarily the greatest moments in sports (though some are here) but those moments in which the announcer's words become not just a record of the moment but indelibly linked to it. They come from all over--baseball, football, golf and, as below, soccer and horse racing; some are well known, some aren't; some are aware of the moment's significance and recognize it, but in most of them, the announcer becomes subsumed by the event--he's a fan, too, just like the rest of us. It'll take about half an hour to listen to/watch them all, but it's well worth the time.

Two of my favorites from Posnanski's list are below: the Argentine announcer's call of Diego Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup (some advice: close your eyes so as not to be distracted by the translations and just listen to the announcer as he experiences something akin to religious ecstacy); and Secretariat's victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes--but the cameraman's switching to ever-wider angles so as to show at least some of the rest of the field and then finally giving up as Secretariat enters the home stretch also plays a role in making this moment, to my mind, one of the most transcendent things I've ever seen. You can't help but get the feeling as you watch that whoever bet on another horse didn't much mind losing to a horse that could do what he did that day.

See you in a few days.

1 comment:

R. Sherman said...

Thanks for pointing out the site. I'm afraid I'll wind up wasting too much time this morning poking around there.